JUNO BEACH - Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is using the annual Utility Scams Awareness Day to warn customers that scam tactics continue to intensify with high pressure tactics and increasing use of technology.
FPL joins Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to recognize the sixth annual awareness day, an advocacy and awareness campaign focused on educating customers and exposing the tactics used by scammers. This year's theme - 'End the Call. End the Scam.' focuses on utility impostor scam calls and the advanced tactics used to target customers.
'We encourage customers to remain vigilant and understand the types of threats that exist,' says FPL Customer Service Vice President Christopher Chapel. 'Scammers are not backing down and can be extremely sophisticated. Partnering with UUAS allows us to spread awareness of scams and help protect our customers.'
Throughout the pandemic, the number of utility scams throughout the country has escalated, and scammers have increased their efforts to take advantage of utility customers and the financial challenges that many have faced. As a reminder, FPL will never call to demand immediate payment with a prepaid card or wire transfer to avoid service disconnection or ask for personal information, such as account or Social Security numbers, unless the customer calls FPL - in which case FPL will ask questions to confirm the customer is the account holder. FPL will also never knock on customers' doors to sell a product or service. Customers should always ask to see the FPL employee or contractor's photo identification badge and work request number prior to letting them in for scheduled appointments.
'It's perfectly acceptable for the customer to hang up the phone. The scammer's initial goal is to pressure their targets and convince them that they work for the utility,' said UUAS Executive Director Monica Martinez. 'Scammers are extremely sophisticated in their tactics, and, by simply ending the call, you can end their scam. If you are unsure, you can always call back the utility by dialing the number found on your bill or on their website, and they will provide you with the correct information.'
Through its work and with the help of customer reporting, the utility organization has taken almost 12,000 toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers out of operation.
Earlier this year, FPL launched a new scam reporting feature on FPL.com/protect that allows customers to quickly report scams directly through the website. Information collected will be used to identify emerging scam trends and help with targeted customer outreach. If a customer believes they have fallen victim to a scam, FPL encourages them to report it.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the largest vertically integrated rate-regulated electric utility in the U.S. as measured by retail electricity produced and sold. The company serves more than 5.6 million customer accounts supporting more than 11 million residents across Florida with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. FPL operates one of the cleanest power generation fleets in the U.S and in 2020 won the ReliabilityOne National Reliability Excellence Award for the fifth time in the last six years. The company was recognized in 2020 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Escalent for the seventh consecutive year. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2021 list of 'World's Most Admired Companies' and recognized on Fortune's 2021 list of companies that 'Change the World.' NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.